Sylvia's Violins | Le Violette

“Le Violette”

From the Opera Pirro e Demetrio

Alessandro Scarlatti

1660-1725

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The Chinese use the color violet to represent the harmony of the universe considering it a true color. Violet is the color of amethyst, lavender, and beautyberries. Ancient Greeks considered the violet plant a symbol of fertility. Pliny the Elder advised, “Placing caplets of violets on the head to disperse the after-effects of drinking and its headaches.” In Scarlatti’s Opera Pirro e Demetrio this delicate flower is the subject of the aria “Le Violette”

“Dewey

Fragrant

Pretty violets,

You are shameful

Half hidden

Among the leaves.

And scolding

My cravings

That are too ambitious.”